NEW E-LINE HISTORIC STREETCAR LINE: Starts Weekend Service on August 1
E-LINE HISTORIC STREETCARS: A TRANSIT DIFFERENCE-MAKER
BELOW: SFMTA’S E-LINE ANNOUNCEMENT, ROUTE AND STATION INFO
Starting weekends on August 1, 2015, the new E-Line Historic Streetcars will run along the Embarcadero, connecting the Caltrain Station to Fisherman’s Wharf. In 2016, daily service will begin. And someday, the E-Line will extend from the Caltrain Station/ AT&T Ballpark all the way to AquaticPark/ FortMason. The concept of Market Street historic streetcars was first proposed by San Francisco Tomorrow in 1971.
EXAMINER: Anticipated E-line ready to roll
The E would run from the foot of the Embarcadero Freeway past Fisherman’s Wharf to FortMason.
Originally conceived by San Francisco Tomorrow in the 1970s, it wasn’t until Feinstein backed the project in the ’80s that the trolley’s future was secured.
Fast forward some three decades, and the E has yet to launch, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Muni’s E-Embarcadero will finally roll starting Aug. 1 .
Though the launch is close, the “E dream” still is not fully realized. The last leg of the trip — chugging the trolley down to FortMason — is still in planning phases.
“What I’m happy about is that the streetcars themselves have proven public transit doesn’t have to be dowdy or dirty,” Laubscher [Market Street Railway] told the San Francisco Examiner. “You can draw people out of their automobiles willingly, if you give them a truly attractive alternative.”
He’s referring to the physical beauty of the streetcars. They often feature wood paneling and art deco light fixtures, like public transit out of a 1940s film noir story.
MARKET STREET RAILWAY: “Great E-Line Startup Piece in Examiner”, July 15, 2015
The Examiner’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez gave us a ring in the morning, asking for the history behind the E-line. Among other things, he was curious why the line is named E when it’s starting service 20 years after the F. We explained that the E-Embarcadero was originally given that letter in 1979, when Muni Planning first included it in its Long Range Transit Plan (very long range, as it turned out). It was envisioned to run from FortMason to the Caltrain Depot along the waterfront, following the old State Belt freight railroad route, an idea first proposed a decade earlier by San Francisco Tomorrow. The following year, they included the F-Market in their plan from the Ferry to Castro.
QUICKER AND CHEAPER MUNI IMPROVEMENTS
The Examiner article above sagely notes that even old streetcars, which are beautiful, clean and well-maintained, will attract riders and get people out of cars. SaveMuni advocates quick, low-cost transit improvements. For instance, modernizing all 15 bus/ cable car/ streetcar lines in the northeast quadrant would transform transit in ten neighborhoods—rather than big lengthy subway costs. Another concept is Free Shuttle Loop Buses—the hottest transit trend in the U.S. that has many funding models, such as the consolidation of expenditures by separate commuter shuttles. Like tour buses, banned from many neighborhoods, even larger commuter shuttles should be banned and replaced by Free Shuttle Loop Buses. The city of Mountain View started its Free Shuttle Loop Bus with funding by Google, LinkedIn and other companies.
MOUNTAIN VIEW: “Free shuttle to connect tech companies and downtown”
The service will be a consolidation of five separate employer shuttle systems. “Through this consolidation, approximately 12,000 shuttle vehicle miles are saved per year,” said Denise Pinkston, chair of the board operating the system.
The biggest employers and office developers in the city are paying for the service, including Google and LinkedIn, thanks to a requirement placed on new office development by the Mountain View City Council.